Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gopaal Krishna, the Movie (and others!)

Recently I watched the 1979 Bollywood movie, "Gopaal Krishna", starring Zarina Wahab and Sachin, with English subtitles.

One thing that stood out for me is how many similarities Krishna's story has with that of Jesus and Yahweh, which convinces me even more that Yahweh and Krishna are the same entity. Below are the similarities that I picked up on:

● A King wanting to destroy a messiah-child who has been prophesied to destroy the King
● Prison locks popping open and prison guards falling asleep to permit prisoner’s escape
● Parting of waters to permit crossing
● The King ordering all newborn babies killed in order to ensure the messiah child hidden among them doesn’t live.

● Krishna tells Radha (His female companion), "Oh Radha, I am in you and you are in Me." Just like Jesus saying "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:20) and "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. " (John 15:4)
● Krishna casts out various demons (more territorial than personal, such as one that was poisoning the river as a multi-headed cobra-like serpent and another that took the form of a bull and attacked the cowherders.
The incident involving the above-mentioned serpent, Kaliya, is similar to one referred to in Psalm 74:13-14, where Yahweh is said to have "broken the heads of the monster in the waters", and "crushed the heads of Leviathan". Like Kaliya, it would seem that Leviathan had more than one head too; could be the same monster, same incident, same God putting him in his place. :)

● Krishna loves and shepherds His cows like Jesus does His sheep.
I also have to say that the actor chosen to play Krishna (Sachin Pilgaonkar) did a fantastic job of conveying the sort of bearing and grace that an Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God, Who is Love, would undoubtedly possess; almost as though Krishna Himself had come down personally to appear in the film. :)

The movie helped me further to solidify, in my own mind (and heart) what God is like in a more tangible way, reminding me that He is not only a nebulous, vague, impersonal "Force" but also an actual Person with Whom one can interact.

Below are links to the movie with English subtitles (four parts), plus the full movie without subtitles.
I noticed that the English Subtitle version omits at least one scene found in the original, but the main storyline is still there.

 Update:  The following installments appeared in separate postings subsequent to what I wrote above, but I figured I would consolidate them all here.  They deal with two other Krishna movies, starring the same actor as Krishna, confirming  my hunch that he was 'anointed and appointed' for the role. :)


Shri Krishna Leela

Awhile after discovering the above movie, I found another old movie about Krishna, with the same actor as in the previous one I posted about, but about 8 years younger (around 14 years of age). It's called Shri Krishna Leela, and it came out in 1971. Compared to the other version, this one dwells a bit more on Krishna's mischievous side. He means well, though; He's supposed to be God Himself, so I would hope He means well!
 


The following version includes English subtitles.




Jai Bolo Chakradhari

I have found yet another film, from back in 1977, where Sachin again plays the role of Lord Krishna, titled "Jai Bolo Chakradhari".  

I have no idea what they're saying in the movie, or what the title even means, but according to whatsonindia.com, this is a "religious film about a pious woman [who] is a devotee of Lord Krishna. He empowers her to overcome all difficulties and deal with the humiliation heaped on her by her mother-in-law."  

I sort of scanned through it; there's a sweet scene about 51 minutes into the film where they alternate between Krishna dancing in the Heavenlies with people, as meanwhile, down on earth, people are also dancing ... the phrase "on earth as it is in Heaven" crossed my mind on seeing that; as above, so below.






Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jesus and Religious Observances

If the God of Judeo-Christianity and the God of Hinduism are the same entity (which I believe they are, especially when I see them use the same terminology to describe Krishna that is used to describe the Judeo-Christian God ツ), then the religious observances that Krishna's devotees feel obligated to follow may no longer be required; Jesus, Krishna's Son, fulfilled all that at the cross.

What prompts me to say this is that I follow a good handful of Krishna-related Facebook Pages, and according to one of them, today is evidently something called "Ekadasi", a holy day in which Hindus fast from certain foods. According to Stephen-Knapp.com, Ekadasi is as follows:

"Ekadasi generally falls on the 11th day after the new moon, and the 11th day after the full moon. Eka means one and dasi is the feminine form of dasa, which means ten. Together it means eleven. Only occasionally may it fall on a different day. So it is on these days that devotees and devout Hindus will follow the vow of Ekadasi and not eat any beans or grains, or products with such substances in them. Thus, the diet is expected to be simple and plain as part of the mood of renunciation, and preferably only once in the day if possible. Other recommendations include that the food should be made of vegetables, fruit, water, milk products, nuts, sugar, and roots that are grown underground (except beet roots). Restrictions include spinach, eggplant, asafetida, and sea salt, but rock salt is alright."

Elsewhere, it states:

"If one doesn’t follow Ekadasi because of illusion, he is still considered the utmost sinner. For every mouthful of grain that is eaten by a resident of the earthly region (on Ekadasi), one receives the effect of killing millions of brahmanas. It is definitely necessary that one give up eating grains on Ekadasi. I very strongly say again and again, ‘On Ekadasi, do not eat grains, do not eat grains, do not eat grains!’"

The repeated admonition against grain-eating reminded me of Colossians 2:20-23:

"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."

Maybe that's why so much controversy rocked the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) -- they have their fair share of religious observances and restrictions, but at the end of the day none of that did squat to prevent the horrors that are said to have taken place after their founder passed away! So much of this reminds me of the Roman Catholic church, with all their emphasis on religious observances, and then stumbling in major-league headline-making ways.

I think it's a personal decision as to whether one wants to fast, however to state that a person is outright sinning if they don't observe holy days and/or fast from certain foods at certain times is negating what Jesus took care of through His sacrifice on the cross.

Colossians 2:16-19 says,

"Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. "

Romans 14:1-4 states,

"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. "

Romans 14:5-8 says,

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. "

I seriously think that Hindus (in fact, adherents of any form of legalistic religious system) could benefit from applying what Jesus has done for them just as those still living under Old Testament religious laws could. Jesus is the Son of God (whatever name one gives God matters not), so one would think that devotees of God in any religion would be concerned with what God's own Son did for all mankind! Because of Jesus, we are all liberated souls (2 Corinthians 3:17)! In the context of Hinduism, because of Christ our relationship with Krishna can be just that: a relationship, rather than a series of religious rites and rituals and do's and don'ts, the latter which even Krishna Himself discouraged people from indulging in.








Sunday, December 18, 2011

Depersonalizing God: Atheism disguised as Spirituality?

I recently saw a quote by C.S. Lewis that said, “Don't think of God in terms of forms, because forms are limited, and God is unlimited.” (continued below)

While I agree that God is indeed unlimited, my ability as an earthbound human to grasp that in any meaningful way is incredibly limited! Being able to attribute a physical form to Deity on which to focus has proven absolutely helpful for me in relating to Him not only as an impersonal, vague “force”, but also as an individual Person. In my own case, agnosticism or atheism would have ultimately set in had I reduced my concept of God to the whole, somehow diluted, God-is-everything-and-everyone. The latter view almost sounds like atheism trying to sneak into one’s psyche disguised as “spirituality”. After all, for the average atheist, isn’t the individual person as Godlike as it gets? If so… um… how is the God-is-me/God-is-you philosophy any different from atheism?

As Satyaraja dasa said, “Teachers in the Krishna conscious tradition suggest that the desire to depersonalize God comes, on a subliminal level, from the desire to avoid surrender. After all, if God is a person, then questions of submission and subservience come into play. If God is a formless abstraction, we can philosophize about it without a sense of commitment, without the fear of having to acknowledge our duty to a higher being.

To that I say, BINGO!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

John 12:32: There's a name for that


"God has no name, but by His qualities we give Him names.


If a man is very beautiful, we call him 'beautiful.'


If a man is very intelligent, we call him 'wise.'


So the name is given according to the quality.


Because God is all-attractive, the name Krishna can be applied

only to Him.


Krishna means 'all-attractive.' It includes everything."


~ Srila Prabhupada ~

(emphasis mine)


"And I, if I be lifted up out of the earth, will draw all to Me."

~ Yeshua, whose name means "The Lord saves", in John 12:32 ~